Nanaimo NightOwls set to play first ever WCL baseball game

The boys of summer are about to hit the field in Nanaimo, B.C., for the NightOwls' first ever season, just as the renovations at the city's historic Serauxmen Stadium take shape.

The Nanaimo NightOwls is the newest franchise of the West Coast League and the team is three weeks away from hosting its first ever home opener at Serauxmen Stadium.

"This is just a great old bones stadium and the old bones are really putting a futuristic, sustainable approach on how this stadium will play for the next 50 years," said Nanaimo NightOwls general manager, Jim Swanson.

The wood fences in the outfield have been replaced with professional padded walls, while the eight-foot walls along the baselines have been removed so that fans can stand and watch the game.

Improved seating in the grandstands is also being installed, as well as a new set of bleachers along the right field line.

The renovations also include new group areas and a bar for fans near the center field of the stadium, where games can be watched.

The stadium will be able to hold around 2,000 people once renovaitons are complete, with room for future expansion.

Serauxmen Stadium is nearly 50 years old and first opened during a ceremony in 1976, which included baseball hall of famer Mickey Mantle, as well as hockey hall of famer Johnny Bucyk.

LOOKING FOR BILLETS

The NightOwls and the Victoria HarbourCats are run by the same managing partner, and both teams are in need of host families this upcoming season.

Both teams are about 10 billets short and are asking baseball fans to open their homes to engaging, polite, intelligent young men who are all NCAA Division One scholarship athletes looking to hone their skills during the summer.

There are several perks to being a host family, including season tickets. All players are also fully vaccinated.

"They’re excited about the opportunity to come to what for them is a real sexy place, Vancouver Island," said Swanson.

"It’s a lot of fun for them to play in front of great crowds, which we know will happen in both cities," he said.

Information on being a host family can be found on the NightOwls and HarbourCats websites.

The NightOwls' first ever home game is on June 3, while the HarbourCats' home opener is set for May 31.